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Old 05-15-2018, 10:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Houston, Texas
Photos: 12

Default The cat and mouse game of Credit Card fraud

About a year ago we got a notice that our card was shut down due to suspicious purchases. There were two charges for an online service that sends cash with a credit card payment, both around $60. I'm not sure if if the fraudsters actually made off with any money. Thankfully we didn't have any losses, other than changing all of our automatic payments. I suspect that our card was stolen by a skimmer at a gas station, but who knows.

Fast forward, I've been using a chip card since last year. Thankfully we keep a close eye on things and we noticed a charge at a local restaurant, $23, that wasn't one of us. First, checked to make sure our cards were still in our wallet, yep. I called CC company and they said that it was an in-person purchase, which is unusual. Thankfully, again it looks like we will be covered without any losses. This time I am thinking that my card got compromised by a "shimmer", which is like a skimmer but actually takes the card info off of the chip and is inserted in the chip card slot. I think they then clone a magnetic strip that tricks the reader into thinking that the chip failed and uses a "fallback" on the magnetic strip.

In any case, especially with debit cards, try to only use ATMs and card readers that are indoors. If the readers look fishy, don't use them. Look for tabs hanging out of the chip reader slot. And most importantly keep an eye on your purchases, in this case the fraudsters could have avoided the automated fraud alertts for quite a while.
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